Read each of the following passages and answer the items that follow. Your answers to these items should be based on the passages only.
Neither misery nor folly seems to me any park of the inevitable lot of man. And I am convinced that intelligence, patience and eloquence can, sooner or later, lead the human race out of its self imposed tortures provided it does not exterminate itself meanwhile.
On the basis of this belief, I have always had a certain degree of optimism, although, as I have grown older, the optimism has grown more sober and the happy issues more distant. But I remain completely incapable of agreeing with those who accept fatalistically the view that man is born to trouble. The causes of unhappiness in the past and in the present are not difficult to ascertain. There have been poverty, pestilence and famine, which were due to man’s inadequate masters of nature. There have been wars, oppressions and tortures which have been due to man’s hostility to their fellow men. And there have been morbid miseries fostered by gloomy creeds, which have led men into profound inner discords that made all outward prosperity of no avail. All these are unnecessary. In regard to all of them, means are known by which they can be overcome. In the modern world, if communities are unhappy, it is because they chose to be so. Or to speak more precisely, because they have ignorance, habits, beliefs and passions which are dearer to them happiness or even life. I find many men in our dangerous age who seem to be in love with misery and death and grow angry when hopes are suggested to them.
A first, I imagined that the task of awaking people to the dangers of the Nuclear Peril should not be very difficult I shared the general belief that the motive of self preservation is a very powerful one which, when it comes into operation, generally overrides all others. I thought that people would not like the prospect of being fried with their families and their neighbours and every living person that they had heard of. I thought that it would be necessary to make the danger known and that, when this had been done, men of all parties would unite to restore previous safety. I found that this is a mistake. There is a motive which is stronger than self preservation: it is the desire to get the better of the other fellow.
Which of the following options best describes the gist of the passage?